Beijing Guoan name ex-Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt as new coach

Former Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt has been appointed as the new head coach of Beijing Guoan, the Chinese Super League side have confirmed.

Schmidt replaces Jose Gonzalez, who was fired by Beijing at the start of the month after a run of form that saw them slip to seventh in the standings and 16 points adrift of leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.

"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Roger Schmidt as head coach of Beijing Guoan Football Club," the club said on their official social media outlets. "The agreement is for a two-and-a-half-year contract.

"After two months of communication, the club believes Mr Schmidt has an advanced football concept, a rigorous work ethic and is good at encouraging and developing young players, which matches the club's needs perfectly.

"We believe his arrival will give the club new energy and will lead the team to a higher position."

Beijing are 10 points behind Manuel Pellegrini's Hebei CFFC, who are in third place, the league's final qualifying berth for the Asian Champions League.

Schmidt, who steered Leverkusen to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League in 2015, will start work on July 1.